Re: open votes please! UK Election Official
That story about the UK, if true, is appalling.
In Australia, ballot boxes are only sealed in the pollling both, with scruitineers present to confirm they are empty. And scruitineers are present when the seals are broken to count the votes.
It takes about an hour to manually count the votes at a booth in front of scruitineers.
As to the New York lever machines, I think there were plenty of stories of election officials routing those. They are no better than computers, being an unauditable, black box.